Sunday, December 16, 2012


I sit here with tears streaming down my face, with my heart breaking for the families of the victims in the Connecticut shootings. Still, two days after it happened, I cannot bring myself to watch any news footage. Today there is a list in the paper of those that were so violently taken.

One of them was named Noah and he was six years old.

There was an art class of 4th graders that hid in a closet. Some of the 4th grade boys started crying.

I just keep thinking, these kids could have been my kids.

As much as I want to write an eloquent tribute to all of them, I have no words that can begin to express my sorrow for all of these moms and dads today. I will pray that peace falls down upon them and that they will remember their precious children laughing and smiling.

And I will give my kids that last kiss before they leave on the bus every morning, even if they don't want me to. I will tell them I love them every single day even if they are driving me crazy because they are here and for that I am so thankful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

this and that and a winner!

This is my life right now:

There was a cheddar scallion scone on that plate, but it's gone. I'm savoring the latte because it's the best around Ithaca and since I don't get down here too often I have to take advantage, right? I'm playing with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra this evening, and since I had a rehearsal last night until late and again this morning it just made sense for me to stay over.

Also after the day I had yesterday, I really deserved a little time to myself.

What happened yesterday, you ask? indoor ropes course (FUN!!) followed by a ride home with a child who insisted he didn't feel like he was about to puke, so when he did (shocking, right?) he did not use the bag that his extremely wise mother had provided him (decidedly NOT fun.) I'm trying to block it out of my mind, but I distinctly remember screaming "INTHEBAGINTHEBAG" at the top of my lungs over and over again. Then I threw another bag back to Noah who was screaming, "RYAN IS GOING TO MAKE ME THROW UP!" in between dry heaves.  He proceeded to put the grocery bag over his head (don't worry it was cloth so he wasn't going to suffocate) and ask every 2 minutes if we were almost home. So the wise mother then had to clean up the car whilst silently having a small rage because we are trying to teach our boys that it is never okay to swear. (Honestly, I really hardly ever swear, but when puke is involved and it could have been prevented it is very difficult to refrain.)

So while I might usually have a bit of mother's guilt about not being home for a whole day, today I most definitely do not. These are the times of a mother's life when it is so important to have very good friends who can a) commiserate with you and b) assure you that yes, indeed, it is all worth it in the long run. It is worth it, right? I won't have vomit nightmares forever, will I?

So now that I've got you all worked up with lovely images in your head, I bet you want to know who won some sunglasses, right??

Congrats to Rachel D.!! I'll get you set up with some new shades ASAP!!

Thanks to all who entered, and have a great day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

late night ramblings

It is 10:08 p.m.

What? That doesn't count as late? Clearly you have no children and a night-owl husband then. In my house anything in the double digits is way past bedtime.

So why am I up and why the heck am I writing at 10:10 (yes, it took me two minutes to write that.)

The fact is, I'm in a funk. A major funkity-funk-funk. How do I know this?

Let's just say I've been hiding Tootsie Roll wrappers where Kel can't see them because there are so many of them I'm sure he would be embarrassed for me. See, I'm really just being nice to him...there is nothing weird about this behavior. Also, I had to get motivated to get up and go to Target today. Clearly if I have problems making it to Target there is a Major Motivation Malfunction (MMM...tootsie rolls) happening in my life.

Moving right along....nothing to see here....

For reals, though, it's been a rough month, and the fact that I don't have a big upcoming goal of any sort, and especially of the physical sort, is not helping.

So I've decided I need to do something epic. I'm not sure what that will be, but I've given myself a list of requirements:

  • Must be done locally because I can't afford to go anywhere. 
  • Must involve being outside because that speaks to my soul.
  • Must be cheap.
  • Must be fun.
  • Must be something that makes people raise their eyebrows. (So this is weird, but it wouldn't really be epic if it was something that wasn't, well, eyebrow-raising.)
  • I'm thinking I would like whatever this epic thing is going to be to be relatively self-supported, i.e. not officially organized, although if anyone wants to join me they can as long as they are cool enough.
Even as I'm writing this my mind is flooding with a list of possible feats of epic-ness. Maybe a self-supported trail marathon on a random weekday (eyebrow-raising to be sure). Maybe a day where I just strap on a backpack and run and walk the whole day and see where I end up. (Note to this on a weekend so Kel can come pick you up wherever you end up.) I don't think I want any epic bike riding to happen, so I'm leaning towards the running.

So, can you help me? What do you do to get de-funkify? What would qualify as an epic feat? I know at least half of the 13 people that read this blog qualify as crazy, so I want to hear your ideas. Really...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Guest Post: An Open Letter to Lady Gaga

Sometimes I am just overwhelmingly inspired by the people in my lives. I reached out to a friend and fellow triathlon coach the other day with a favor and she asked a favor in return. When I read what she was trying to pull together, I was floored and so proud to be able to help. So here is a guest post by Lisa. If you think this is a wonderful idea, please share this on Facebook, retweet, email to your friends, etc... Lisa has also posted this letter directly on her blog as well. You better believe I am on board with this!!



“To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size zero, you’re the
beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.”

Thank you, Lady Gaga, for channeling the words of Marilyn Monroe through your
BODY REVOLUTION campaign and reminding us that our flaws can be fabulous.

Your recent tour photos have made me smile. I don’t see a pop star who has gained
twenty-five pounds, I see a woman who is pouring her passion into her craft and
doing what she loves on her own terms.

Here in Syracuse, there’s a team of girls who has not only accepted our bodies
despite our excess weight, scars and other imperfections, we’ve shown society what
we can do with them. And we want you to come and do a REVOLUTION FREEDOM
RIDE with us to help support the BODY REVOLUTION and get the next generation of
girls feeling as good as we do.

Over the years this group has collectively completed 3 Ironmans, 6 Half Ironmans,
5 Marathons, and 41 miscellaneous swimming, biking or running races, covering a
total of 1649.4 miles.

Based on that, you might imagine us to look a certain way. Society says that athletes
should be skinny. We should be lean and muscular with near-perfect bodies. Sound
like any other industries you’re familiar with?

But we’re not—and like you—we couldn’t care less that we don’t fit the mold. We’re
in this because we love what we do. We are fueled by our passion to reach new
limits, not our desire to uphold society’s expectations of what an athlete should look

And we don’t hide our bodies because they aren’t “athletic” enough. We’re sporting
the same tight shorts and teeny tops that the world champions do. Society be

For three years now, I’ve been volunteering as a coach and mentor with the local
chapter of Girls Inc, a national non-profit organization that inspires girls to be
strong, smart and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help
them navigate gender, economic and social barriers. I lead them through a series of
workshops rooted in fitness—not because I want to give them the tools to LOOK a
certain way, but because I want to give them the opportunity to FEEL a certain way.

To me, fitness isn’t about exercising your body—it’s about exercising your mind in
a way that makes you feel something so strongly you have to move. That’s the way
I’ve taught my spin class for the past seven years, and it’s the way I’ve executed
every race I’ve ever done.

The way you tackle a piano with emotion, technique, and hunger is the same way we
tackle each workout. The way you own the stage for hours on end is the same way
we’ve taken to the roads for hours on end (Ironman can last for 17 hours…ride, ride

Girls need to know that this kind of strength and fire doesn’t come from conforming
to society’s idea of what they should be doing. It doesn’t come from throwing up,
cutting, abusive relationships, or drugs. It doesn’t come from those short-term vices
we find and rely on in our darkest moments.

It comes from accepting yourself and your flaws and being brave enough to feed
your passions despite the obstacles that are in your path. It comes from feeling good
enough about yourself that you can rise above the pressures from society to look
and be a certain way—as a superstar, as an athlete…

As a woman.

In that spirit, I would like to invite you to lead a #RevolutionRide spin class with me
to support the next generation of girls who are fighting against society every day—
from the people in their day-to-day lives who judge and bully them, to the strangers
at large who stereotype the way women should look and behave.

I promise you an hour of sweat, fun, progress, and acceptance with hundreds of
women who will proudly flaunt their flaws together on the fly wheel to raise money
for Girls Inc.

Let’s get on the bike with our huge asses and give society a big middle finger as we
pedal to a better place. Are you with me, Gaga?



Little monster, fat triathlete and passion junkie



Monday, October 1, 2012

October Reboot

October 1. 

I love the beginning of things. The first page of a good book. the moment you crack open a brand new notebook with all the clean lines waiting to be filled. Breakfast. The first sip of a really good latte. The moment right before you start a race. The first day of school.

Sometimes it's hard or even impossible to hold onto that feeling of the beginning of something, so sometimes you just have to create new beginnings. I have been inspired this last week by one of my athletes who sent me an email about 2 weeks ago asking for help. She said she was in a major slump and needed something to jumpstart her, both physically and mentally. Without going into a lot of the details, I proposed a reboot: a time when we would shut everything down, focus on some rest and recovery, and then start back up with all the systems in a better place. She did an amazing job with the goals I gave her last week, and that prompted me to give myself my own reboot.

The thing about a reboot is that everyone's will look a little bit different. I am coming of three full weeks of basically doing nothing. The second week after Cedar Point I did get out for an easy jog and an easy swim, and then my body promptly rebelled and got sick. I took this as a sign that it just wasn't ready to get back into it just yet. I had been toying with the idea of running a November 50K, but when I really took a hard look at what my body was telling me, I realized that October 1 would be the start of my off-season. 

Off-season for me doesn't mean do nothing. It just means do different. It means do what I want. It means explore and take chances.  So I made a list of goals, some of them physical, some of them not, to focus on during my off-season, my reboot, if you will.
  • Take the foundations level CrossFit classes.
I have been wanting to try CrossFit for some time now, and it was just hard to fit it in to my training schedule. Also, there haven't been a lot of places in Syracuse to do this that were convenient for me. Now there are more choices and I have found a box that is relatively close with times and rates that work. I'm hoping this will be my winter strength conditioning.
  • Run on trails a lot. Walking counts too. 
One of the reasons I wanted to do the November 50K is because I love fall trail running. I don't need a race to justify that, so I plan on running on trails a lot. I have the time in my schedule right now. My plan is to get out for lots of easy trail running, short runs and long runs, but all easy, until the weather gets to uncomfortable.
  • Eat beautiful food that makes my body happy.
  • Avoid food that makes my body (and my soul) unhappy (and unhealthy).
One thing that I have learned over the years, is there is food that makes my body and soul happy, and there is food that does not. Unfortunately, the food that does not is usually what makes my mind (temporarily) happy. I do believe in moderation (which I have not been practicing of late), so I'm going back to what I know works. Holistic Guru would call it "Top Tier" eating. I'm actually really excited about it because I know I'm going to feel so good!!
  • Continue working on understanding my kids and creating solutions with them so we will have a more peaceful home.
So, my boys are 9 and 6, you would think I would have figured them out by now, right? Ha! We have been working on really changing how we interact and solve problems in our house, and I really feel like it is starting to work. It is taking a huge mental shift for both me and Kel, and we are not quite there yet.
  • Continue to create work opportunities for myself that honor my gifts and abilities.
Now that both Ryan and Noah are in school all day, I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to increase my workload. In doing so, I ventured down the path of applying for a bunch of jobs that I knew I could do, but wouldn't really love. After a couple of very stressful weeks, coupled with coming off the high of Cedar Point, I had a moment of clarity. I realized that if I am doing a job that is just a job, I will not be happy and I will not be productive. I won't have the time to devote to things that I really love and enjoy. Ultimately, I won't be honoring myself or God by doing those things. So, instead of seeking out jobs that I don't want, I am going to work on creating opportunities that allow me to use my gifts. I have already got some ideas stirring and it fuels my creative drive even more.

So today my October reboot begins. What do you do to reboot your hard drives when the systems have crashed?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

CMT Awareness Month

I haven't been doing much lately. I squeezed in one short easy jog and a swim last week, then my body went into full protest mode and caught a cold that is just sticking around. I have been itching to get back into the swing of things, but after a long heart to heart with Sonja, I decided that instead of trying to add on another race this year and dig myself into a deeper hole healthy-wise, I will officially declare the off-season here. I am looking forward to running some trails without my HR monitor, getting my zen on with some yoga, seeing how sore Crossfit actually makes me feel, and whatever else floats my boat.

You might be wondering why I'm talking about my own training (or lack thereof) with a title like CMT Awareness Month, right? Well, Charcot Marie Tooth disease is a nerve disease that impacts 1 in 2500 people. People with CMT have difficulty transmitting signals to their muscles that results in muscle atrophy which keeps them from functioning as easily as the rest of us. While I am itching to get back to my usual training schedule, many people with CMT have little hope of regaining the muscle loss they have experienced. My friend, Donna D., lives every day with challenges that many of us will never face, yet she lives, truly lives, a life that pushes her past her limits. You can learn more about Donna at her website, Beating Limitations

The Charcot Marie Tooth Association is currently funding over 50 different research initiatives that cover all aspects of CMT, including trying to find a drug that can halt the progression of this disease.  So when Donna put out the challenge to Team Rev3 to help build CMT awareness during the month of September, it was a no-brainer for me. Donna is generously donating $10 to the Ulman Cancer Fund (Rev3's chosen charity) for every team member who blogs about CMT. If that isn't a win-win, I'm not sure what is.

What can you do to help? Visit the Donna's page at the CMTA website. Learn about ways you can support people with this disease. I am a firm believer in the notion that every dollar counts. 

And live your life with gratitude for what you are able to do each and every day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rev3Tri Cedar Point: The Run

A quick change in the transition tent and I was off on the run!! I have to tell you I was so happy and excited during probably 95% of this race. I could not stop smiling and almost every single picture taken of me during the race, I am literally beaming from ear to ear. I think that is something that sticks out to me the most. I really remember feeling so much gratitude all day long that I was even able to do such a thing.

Getting some high fives from Noah heading out on the run.

Unlike the bike, where I had a pretty concrete plan, I knew the run was going to be a bit more unpredictable, only because this was the first time I had ever put all of it together. The thing about going long is that you really have to trust the training because race day is pretty much the only day you are going to get a chance to really see how it all pans out. My plan was to gradually build up to my desired heart rate and then hold it steady, stick with my nutrition plan, and see what happened.

The first 4-5 miles felt so amazing. I reached my goal HR around the end of the first mile and was able to tick off 6 pretty even miles at a pace that was a bit faster than I had expected. Since I was still right in my HR zone, I went with it knowing that I would most likely just slow down from there. I got a huge boost around mile 2 when I saw Team Rev3 Mama Bear, Carole Sharpless, and got to give her a huge sweaty hug. After the first easy miles, I felt like I really needed to use the bathroom. I wasn't in any sort of GI distress, I just had to go. I made a quick stop in a port-o-potty (or potty rockets, as Noah once called them) with no success. For the next few miles, I slowed just a bit while I sort of obsessed about every single bathroom I passed - should I go in this one? no. okay the next one? the next one? here it comes, am I going to go in it? It was actually kind of funny how much the decision weighed on my mind. Finally I just decided that I was going to go in and not come out until I had taken care of business. That was my slowest mile of the race (13:09)  right around mile 10, but it was a great decision. I felt so much better afterward.

The rest of the first loop was uneventful. My feet and legs were definitely hurting, but I wasn't even noticing my knee that had had me worried on the bike. I was like a woman with a mission at each aid station - "WATER. SALT. COKE." I started switching back and forth between coke and a nip of gel from my flask at each station and that was working great. My pace was holding steady, and I was looking forward to seeing the boys at the turnaround. Also during the first loop there were some great spectators including Tim and Greg, who really gave me some great motivation. I kept seeing this older couple on every corner, and they started giving me big cheers and some cowbell each time they saw me.

As I swung into the turn-around and special needs, I got to see Ryan and Noah for some high fives and sweaty hugs. Every time I saw my family, my mom, dad and sister, Kel and the boys, I would get kind of emotional. It was just so amazing to be out there and having such great support. It really means a lot to me.

At special needs I grabbed my Pringles which, as it turns out, I had absolutely no desire for, my 2nd gel flask, and some more salt. Then I got to pass by everyone again and Kel gave me a big kiss. The perfect way to start the 2nd loop!

Once out of the park, I really got a second wind and was able to run a little harder with my HR just a bit higher. I felt so good. The one thing that didn't feel good were my lips. They were so chapped and I was dreaming about some chapstick. I decided at the 2nd aid station to just ask if any of the volunteers had any. Everyone was saying no (can you blame them, really?) and then, like an angel of light, Mama Bear Carole says to me, "Just keep running. I'll catch up and you can use mine." It was the best chapstick EVER!! I saw her a few more times through the 2nd loop and every time she let me have a hit of that chapstick. I owe you one, Carole!!

I started really focusing on nutrition at this point, and every time I crossed a mat I would think of all the people at home following me online. I would actually say, "Hi, guys. I'm doing great! Thanks " Throughout the run, I would run with other people here and there, but for the most part I was on my own, doing my own thing. I did have another mild obsession with the bathrooms on the second loop, but I'm not sure why - still haven't figured that one out yet. I was still surprised to see my pace, albeit slow for compared to some, was staying extremely steady, and as I hit mile 20, my goal was to just keep on keeping on. I started counting down the aid stations. I started thinking about my kids and my family waiting for me at the finish line. And I just kept on running.

The last mile was a wave of emotion for me. I turned in the park and knew I was almost at the end of the day. There was a blue path through the parking lot and I remember thinking, "I'm really doing this. I'm really going to do this!" I started to get choked up and then I saw Kel and the boys waiting to run me across the finish line. Ryan grabbed my hand, Noah took off and jumped over like 3 cones and Kel was running beside me. I heard Stu yell my name and hold his hand up for a high five, and I crossed the line and yelled, "I did it!! I did it!!" My family was screaming and I was laughing and my kids were laughing and Kel was laughing. I had no idea what my time was. I had no idea if I had won my division. At that moment all that mattered was I was with my family on a day that I will remember forever. An epic lifetime moment.

"I DID IT!!"

Special thanks to Rev3Tri for providing FREE (yes, free) finisher's photos for all athletes on race day. I think the look on my face on the last one says it all.

Final Time: 12:45:09, 1st place Athena, 22/92 women, 154/359 overall

A day like this doesn't happen without a lot of work and a lot of support from a lot of people. I cannot say enough about my wonderful husband who picked up a lot of slack while I was out riding 100s of miles each week, who never complained about me being gone on another run, who encouraged me and supported me through each and every mile of this year. I love you so much, Kel. Also my family, Ryan and Noah, you are both my heart. Ryan, you gave me the courage to begin this crazy journey and Noah, your hugs have powered me more than you will ever know. To my mom, dad and sister, thank you for coming out to cheer me on, thank you for taking care of the boys so I didn't have to worry about them at all during the race, and thank you for loving me just as I am.

Thank you to all of my peeps who were cheering me on. Team Trimommy ROCKS!!! Here are a few pics, but I know there were so many more of you. I felt you pulling me to the finish line all day, and I thank you for all the notes, emails, facebook messages, tweets and texts that kept rolling in throughout the weekend. After the race I spent more than an hour reading everything.

Mary and Erin in Kentucky.

Kristin getting her sweat on in Albany.

Debbie prayed for me at church!!
Annie raced her 1st sprint in her Team Trimommy shirt!!
Check out that smile!!
Also a huge thank you to my coach, Sonja, who believed in me and supported me and taught me during this whole process.

And, of course, my amazing sponsors, Rev3Tri - I have no words. Seriously. Thank you. PowerBar fueled me. Pearl Izumi, Swiftwick, Normatec, Blue Seventy, TriSwim, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rev3Tri Cedar Point: The Bike

With lots of cheers from Kel, I was off on the second leg of my day's journey. The morning was actually a bit chilly, but since the sun was out I decided against arm warmers. My arms were totally fine, but my toes were a little numb for the first hour or so. I wasn't too worried about that since I knew I would have plenty of time to get warmed up.

My plan was to go pretty easy for the first two hours, take it up a tiny bit for the second 2 hours, and then for the final 2+ hours take it up one more notch. The hardest part about a plan like this is accepting the fact that you will be getting passed...a lot. In the first 22 miles I got passed by 82 people. In the next 26 miles I got passed by 19 more people. I was totally prepared for all the passing. Really. I was doing great. I did speed up to pass a herky-jerky guy during the first 10 miles or so. He was just making me nervous. I was so worried he was just going to fall over. After that, I was content to stick in my HR zone and watch everyone go by. That is until a very large man with a very large belly passed me while we were going up a hill. At that point, I have to admit, my ego took a bit of a blow. I sped up (outside of my HR zone) and passed him handily. "Ah. Now I'm good, " I thought, until he passed me again about 2 minutes later. I just had to let it go.  I didn't see him again until special needs where I noticed him standing next to his bike on the ground eating a hamburger. True story.

Speaking of special needs, the funniest story of the day happened here. My volunteer was a teen-aged boy, probably about 14 or 15. You could tell he was not one of the cool kids, so I immediately bonded with him in my heart. He was holding my bag as I was digging through. I grabbed my waffle, my extra bottle, sprayed some sunscreen and then grabbed the most desired thing in the bag - my lube. Then I realized what I was about to do in front of this innocent child. I said, "I'm so sorry for what I'm about to do in front of you." He graciously turned his head and turned bright red while I stuck my hand down my shorts! There was a woman witnessing the whole thing and she was cracking up. I asked her if she was his mom, and she said no, but that she would let his mom know what a gentleman he was!! Hysterical!

I was also able to ride a bit (legally, of course) with my teammate, Jamie, who was also doing her first full. She was cracking me up because I passed her at an aid station with some concern because she was stopped. After she caught up to me, she said she was just turning on her phone so she would have some tunes!! We had a nice laugh about that and were able to leap frog each other until special needs. A lot of my thoughts during this first part of the ride were centered around how excited I was to be doing this. I was all smiles and having a blast.

Just before special needs, I had started to pick it up a bit and this was a bit of a hard patch. I was keeping within a very tiny HR zone, and it was a challenge to stay right inside of it. There was also quite a bit of wind at this point as well. I don't think I was able to execute this portion quite like I wanted to and ended up riding a bit easier than I had planned, although it was at this point that I started to pass people, which was a big boost. I passed a church with a sign that said "Are you ready?" And I yelled, "I am so ready!!" There was also quite a bit of wildlife to keep us entertained. I remember passing an alpaca farm, what I think was a llama, some clydesdales (horses - not men), some miniature horses (so tiny and strange), a candy corn family, and a lady dressed like a cow.

Right before the beginning of the second loop, Chris McDonald flew by me on his way towards the run and that gave me some energy to forge ahead to the second loop. Around mile 80, I took it up another notch and really started flying by people, mostly men, but also a few women. I was getting a bit fatigued and noticed that if I sat up my right knee was feeling very tight. That had me a bit worried, but I just focused on staying in aero position as much as possible, because that didn't bother me at all. At this point, I really felt like I was working. I had been staying right on top of my nutrition (thanks, PowerBar!!) and was still feeling good, but when I passed the "Are you ready?" sign, I answered with a "Yes! I am ready to be off this bike!" It's amazing how your perspective changes after 5 hours. :) I stayed steady with my nutrition, kept pushing, and worked really hard to keep pushing ahead. As I rode the last 5 miles towards transition, I kept thinking that I was very proud of my effort and my pacing. Just for a bit of perspective, I started the bike as the 12th overall woman. In the first half 10 women passed me. In the second half, I passed 9 of them back. Bam!

I was so happy to see the roller coasters of the park in the distance. I readied my mind and my body. Feet out of the shoes, smile on my face, slow down and off the bike, and it's time to run!!

to be continued...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rev3Tri Cedar Point: The Swim

I had very few thoughts before the race began. I knew that I was going for the Athena win (or the goddess division, as I like to call it.) The week before the race I was hovering right around 152 and after a talk with Sonja we decided I should race Athena (women weighing over 150) because that would drive my competitiveness a bit more. But, really, I wasn't even thinking about that. I just kept thinking, "I am doing this. I am really doing this!!!" Before I knew it, we were all walking into the water to the starting line and then the horn went off and my race began.

I had planned on starting out nice and easy since, well, it is kind of a long day, so I lined up in the middle and walked the first few shallow yards of the swim. I started swimming and all of a sudden I found myself caught up in a group of very large men that were swimming all crazy. It got quite physical for a while and I might have thrown a few good kicks in there to get a couple of those guys off my back. I worked really hard to not let it get to me, and a couple of times I just stopped to let them go. I think the problem was I was actually swimming a bit faster than they were and as I came up behind I was just struggling to get through. Once I got to the first turn I swam a bit wide and things calmed down considerably and I was really able to get into a nice steady rhythm.

Before I knew it I was back at the start buoy to begin the second loop. I waved at the cheering crowd like I was a rock star and then dove back into the water. I made the mistake of taking off my goggles while I was walking and when I started swimming again they filled up with water, so I had to stop to fix them. Once that was fixed, I was good to go, and I really started digging into my stroke a bit more and swimming a little harder. After the first turn I felt totally alone for the rest of the swim. I'm not sure if it was that I was swimming a bit wide or what, but at one point I seriously thought I had made a wrong turn. But then I spotted the swim finish way in the distance and knew I was on track.

After the initial rough start, this swim felt fluid and easy. I never once got tired or had the thoughts that this was a long way. I really enjoyed it and as I got to the end I was looking forward to seeing Kel and getting on the bike. Long before the swim was done, I could hear the crowd screaming and that was really awesome and motivating. When my hand touched bottom, I got up and ran up the beach into transition. I saw Kel right before I went into transition, and I remember him yelling, "Great swim, Kel!!"

Swim time: 1:16:18, 1/6 Athena, 13/92 Women, 72/355 Overall

I grabbed my bag, ran into the tent, and the most awesome volunteer became my brain for the few minutes I was in there. She stripped my wetsuit, sprayed me with sunscreen, helped me put my shoes on as I threw on my jersey (I had decided to race in my jersey so I wouldn't get too much sun and also have more pocket space), and then packed everything else away as I left. (Just a note that there was just one other person in the tent when I was there and it just happened to be one of my Rev3 teammies, Kimberly. It was awesome to have a friend in there!!)

I grabbed my bike and all of a sudden I was off on the longest bike ride of my entire life!!

to be continued...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rev3Tri Cedar Point Race Report: Pre-Race

I have been thinking about writing this race report for months. On every long ride I would imagine how the words would just flow about such an epic day, and now that the day has passed I'm finding the writing much more difficult than I expected. I'm positive that there is no way I can put together words that can accurately describe my emotions and feelings of the day, but yet, I will try because I want to remember as many moments as I can.

The week of the race began with an ominous start. A tickle in my throat progressed to a full on cold by Monday and I started to get nervous. Tuesday and Wednesday I woke with symptoms that were worse and headed to the doctor.  Armed with antibiotics and an array of home remedies I went to bed, but by Thursday I made the decision to cancel everything on my calendar and spend the day in bed. Finally on Friday, I was feeling a little better but not 100%, but my time in bed and not doing anything had another effect. I was feeling very achy and creaky in my left lower back with pain radiating down to my left knee. I get this periodically when I am not doing as much, and I think it is nerve related. The pain doesn't bother me at all while I am working out, but if I am sitting still or trying to sleep it is unrelenting. Needless to say, the car ride on Friday was a challenge and I got very little sleep on Friday and Saturday evening.

Add into all of this that Ryan was sick and threw up about an hour after we got to Ohio, I was pretty freaked out. I just kept thinking that I couldn't believe all of this was happening so close to my race. Then I felt terribly selfish for thinking that when my child was sick. Then I went back to freaking out again. Fortunately, it seemed to be a quick passing thing and Ryan was fine in the morning.

On Saturday, I tried to stay in bed but was awake by 7 and downstairs by 7:15. I was excited to see my family who had gotten in late Friday night. I spent most of Saturday morning chilling out at the house we rented eating carbs and catching up with my sister. I was surprisingly calm about the race and seemed to be more obsessed with making sure that everyone was going to be okay while I was racing. Finally my mom just said to me, "Kelly, we are going to be fine. The boys are going to be fine. We'll be able to figure everything out." I think one of the hardest things about this weekend was just letting this stuff go and trusting other people to make sure everything was okay while I was racing.

Around 12:30 I headed over to the expo to check in and listen to the athlete meeting. As soon as I got out of the car, my stomach did a flip-flop and the race nerves definitely set in. It became so real at that moment!! I got all of my stuff done, checked in the bike, got lots of hugs from my awesome Rev3 teammates, and then headed back home where I laid in the bed in my Normatec Recovery boots and checked in with coach for some last words of encouragement.

While Kel and my mom cooked up dinner I began organizing my transition and special needs bags. It was pretty easy since I had made up lists before hand, but still stressful because I was just worried that I had forgotten something. Sonja had already talked me out of having extra contacts in every single bag, but the first time is tricky.

Once the dinner was in my tummy and all the bags were packed and lined up like soldiers ready for battle, there was nothing I could do but head off to bed. I got in some good snuggles with the boys, read a little in bed and was asleep by 9 or so, aided by a couple of advil to take the edge off the pain in my knee.

I actually slept pretty good and woke up around 2:55 a.m. and never really went back to sleep. My alarm was set for 4, and I ended up getting up around 3:45 for good. I was surprisingly calm and excited at the same time and just ready to get going!

Kel and I headed down to transition, and I turned in all my bags, pumped up the wheels, loaded the nutrition, and all the other little things you have to do race morning (I had made a list so I wouldn't forget anything.) I was done way early, so we went back to the car to hang out where it was a bit warmer until it was time to walk down to the swim start. I was really glad to have Kel there with me, and we just sat together in the warmth of the car in comforting silence.

Before I knew it, it was time to get the wetsuit on and head down to the swim start which was about a half mile walk down the beach. I ran into Tim and Jaime before we headed down, and it was so nice to have some of my Rev3 teammates with me.

As we walked to the water, the sun was rising and the sky was so beautiful I could hardly believe it. Today was my day and it was about to begin.

to be continued...

Monday, September 10, 2012

It is 5:38 a.m. the morning after I finished my first full distance (140.6) triathlon. I am sitting in the dark with ice on my knee listening to my family sleep all around me, but sleep will not come to me. I am tired and sore and proud and happy and overwhelmed with the amount of support, cheers, words of encouragement, heartfelt messages, and more all of you have sent, tweeted, facebooked, and texted.

I will write up a race report with the nitty gritty, but I just wanted to write a few things that I've been thinking about.

Yesterday was a day of magic and joy and gratitude for me. It was about trust and determination and believing in myself. I thought of so many people to help get me through. I smiled and I laughed and there were a few tears of joy in there as well. More than my finish time or place, which I am overjoyed with, I am the most proud that I stayed positive and had fun the whole day. That's not to say there weren't challenging moments (there were a few!), but I wanted to live yesterday like my last breath was a breath away, and I absolutely did that.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Follow Me on Sunday!!

You know that feeling of the click-click-clicking up the first hill of a roller coaster after you have waited in line for like an hour? The feeling that says, "Why, why, why are you doing this? What have you done?"

I'm not feeling that at all about race day. I'm ready. I'm rested. I have put in the work, and now it's time to go out there and do it! There will be no free-falling on Sunday. (And, for the record, I get that feeling every single time I go on a scary ride...which I will be doing none of this weekend.)

Am I nervous? Sure I am, but am I regretting my decision to do this. No way. I cannot WAIT!!

I have been fighting off a cold this week (which has probably freaked me out more than the thought of 140.6 miles on Sunday), and today I'm pulling out all the stops. I cancelled everything on my calendar and am spending the entire day in my bed. I might get up this afternoon to wash my bike and pack a little, but that is it until the boys get home from school.

We are heading out to Sandusky tomorrow morning, so I probably won't be posting any blog updates until after the race. I have been getting lots of messages, tweets, emails, phone calls and more from so many people wishing me good luck on Sunday. It is so wonderful to know I have friends behind me in this craziness. My friend, Molly, stopped by yesterday and gave me this beautiful necklace.

It is a little moon and came with a card that said, "Wear this necklace and go for your dreams. They are within your reach." Thank you so much, Molly.

I'm going to get my dream on Sunday. If you would like to follow along with me, you can check out on Sunday. There will be a live finish line feed and you can also track me using my last name, Covert. I think the best way to track is to go to this page and then click on the results tab. Be sure to click on Full Rev for the race and then type my name in. It should have live splits as I go through my day. Kel will also be posting updates to my Twitter and Facebook feed, so you can follow there as well!!

Thank you so much for all the support you have given me this year as I have headed towards this day. It really means a lot to me. Have a great weekend...I know I will!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One Week!!

In seven days, just a short week, I will be racing at Rev3Tri Cedar Point!! YAY!!

I am so darn excited. I feel like every part of my mind has been consumed with the training, planning, expecting, wondering, and more, of this day. There has definitely been a lot of other stuff going on in my life that has caused a lot of stress over the past 2 months, and sometimes I think that this race, this goal, has kept me focused and helped me to not totally freak out about everything else going on in my life. Also, I have been praying a lot! :)

Anywho, I have been enjoying my taper and have been busy making lots of lists - some written down, some in my head. It's amazing how much organization it takes to make a race like this happen. There is just a lot of stuff to remember!!

I have also been thinking a lot about the training itself. Now that the hard stuff is over I can actually let myself analyze a bit of it. First of all, let me say that I have really loved training for a long race. This comes as no surprise to me because I have always looked forward to going long more than I have looked forward to going hard. I have never been one to get excited about tempo workouts or mile repeats. When I see the word HARD in my Training Peaks, my stomach does a little flip-flop. What I found was that, for the most part, a super long bike ride is just an amazing way to spend a day. A long run can clear the head better than any therapist. I can sink into a long swim and just listen to the water swishing past me and it's done before I realize it. I did have some very tough, mentally challenging sessions in the past few weeks, but I tried to relish them as great mental training that will come to play at some point during the race.

One of the hardest things about the training has been logistics. For real. I kind of wished I had tracked how much time I spent this season packing bags, checking Training Peaks, filling water bottles, driving to the pool, showering multiple times a day, pumping tires, washing bike shorts and sports bras, organizing nutrition...the list could go on forever. For example, to get an hour swim in, I have to pack my bag (5 minutes), load the kids into the car (5 minutes - at least!!), drive to the gym (20 minutes), check Noah into childcare (5 minutes), get to the locker room and changed for swim (5 minutes), swim (1 hr), shower and change (10 min.), get the boys back to the car (5 minutes), and drive home (20 minutes). So for an hour's worth of training I clocked 2 hours and 15 minutes of actual time spent. I tried as much as I could to do workouts from home so I limited the driving time, but when you add kids and summer into the mix, sometimes you have to go to the gym to get your run done! (Actually, I think training for a full with kids is a whole other post that I will get to at some point.)

Also, just the sheer energy of thought that goes into figuring all of this out is unbelievable. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful coach. Sometime people ask me why I have a coach if I am a coach myself. Well, this is why. It is one less thing to think about. One less thing to worry about. I can put all of the weight and responsibility of the training into my coach's hands and let her do all of that for me. A good coach, especially for a busy mommy, is worth every single penny!!

Another thing that I have thought about a lot is how much easier all the training has been because I have the amazing support of my wonderful husband. As the weekend would approach, I would let him know what my training looked like and he would say go for it! There was no guilt, no "you-owe-me" kind of feelings, no "looks" (you know the kind I am talking about),  just support. If he wanted to get a workout in, he would just let me know what time he wanted to leave by and then I would make sure I got going early enough to make that happen. I am so thankful for this low-stress approach to my training. I stress to athletes over and over that if you are thinking about doing a full triathlon, the support of your spouse/partner is ESSENTIAL. They are the ones taking care of the kids, cleaning up the messes, fixing lunches, and making sure you are able to be successful while you are out on your bike! Sonja told me at the beginning of all of this that I needed to make priorities during the hardest training and those should be family, work, and training. All else is secondary and you can't feel guilty about that. I have really tried to embrace that and let go of all the unnecessary guilt. Kel really helped me with this!

So this is where my head is right now. So grateful for what I have been able to do and so grateful for what will happen in one week. ONE WEEK!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Breath Away

On Sunday I attended the memorial service of a beautiful woman, mother, wife and friend that was taken from this earth too soon by a vicious and aggressive breast cancer. She was a child of God and now rests free of pain and peacefully with Him.

At her memorial service her children all spoke. Her eldest, a beautiful young 22-year old whom I think of like a little sister, said something that really resonated with me. She said that her mother's death made her realize that her last breath is always only a breath away.

What if we lived our lives as if our last breath was a breath away? Would we hug our children more? Would we smile more? Would we be kinder and more compassionate? Would we take more chances? Would we risk failure more? Would we breathe more deeply and live life more fully and be more thankful for every breath we do take? Would we understand what is really important?

I want to live my life like that.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: PowerBar

Today I rode my bike for 6 hours and 10 minutes.( I would have stopped at six but I wasn't home yet and really didn't feel like walking that far.) Right after I got off my bike I ran for 15 minutes.

Yeah. I'm training for a really, really long race.

The thing about training and racing a really, really long race is that you have to fuel your body to get it to go for that long.  Today my ride hurt. I didn't go as fast as I wanted. I was really glad when it was over. But despite the fact that it wasn't the most amazing ride ever, I still totally nailed my goal of the ride today, and that was to dial in my nutrition for race day.

As a Rev3Tri Ambassador I am so fortunate to be sponsored by PowerBar. I have to be honest with you and say that when I first found out PowerBar was our nutrition sponsor this year I was a little apprehensive. I had never used PowerBar products beyond having a PowerBar Performance Energy bar as part of my race day breakfast. It's always a little scary to try new products because what if you don't like them? What if they don't agree with you?

Well let me tell you (if I may) that I have been so pleased with all of the Powerbar products I have been using during my training and racing this season. Here is a quick rundown of my absolute faves...

For my pre-race breakfast I choose this coupled with a whey protein shake and a banana. I love the tangy orange flavor and it goes down so easily. Great energy for race day.
During the race I use a combination of these (in lemon, raspberry and cola flavor)

and these (in Berry Blast, Raspberry Cream, Tangerine and Green Apple).

And of course, my favorite part of the workout...the recovery!! I choose this


or after a really hot workout, this (even though it has the name that shall not be said on it...).

Besides being exactly what you need in terms of electrolytes, fuel and recovery, there are so many flavors to choose from it's really hard to not find your favorites. The other really cool thing about PowerBar is their amazing website. It has a wealth of information on nutrition and fueling for training, racing and recovery. There are a whole bunch of nifty calculators too. My favorite and one I recommend to all of the athletes I coach is the Sweat Rate Calculator. It really takes the guessing out of hydration.

Thank you, PowerBar, for fueling me this season!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Due Date

Three weeks and one day.

22 days until I race 140.6 miles.

Obviously, I have been thinking a lot about this, and one thing I keep coming back to over and over is how much training for a full distance triathlon is a lot like having a baby. I have been training since January, so by the time the "big day" rolls around it will be about 9 months of physical and mental preparation. Much like being pregnant, no?

I been thinking a lot about why I am doing this because that is a question that I know will come up at some point in my day, and I really believe it is a good thing to have an answer to that question. I've written before about this, but I always seem to come back to "remembering your whys." My whys have a lot to do with being a mommy.

When I first started running, Ryan was about a year old. One of the reasons I started running, which led to all of this triathlon madness, is that after giving birth to my first son I felt so empowered. Those 20+ hours are still the hardest physical thing I have ever done, and I have always felt that if I could do that I could do anything. What a gift it is to see the true potential of your mind and body, and I can honestly say that I have embraced that. I truly believe that we are capable of so much more than we can ever imagine, and the day I became a mother gave me a glimpse of that.

I remember thinking before Ryan was born that it can't really be that bad. I mean, really, you get a baby at the end of it, and maybe most women just don't have a very high pain tolerance.

Ha! I was SO WRONG!

Oh the joys of not knowing. I was much more nervous the second time, knowing full well what I would be facing. I kind of have a feeling 140.6 might be that way, and I'm okay with that. There is something exciting about venturing into the unknown.

Being a mother begins the day you give birth and it is a process that continues each day after that. Giving birth was physically the hardest thing I have done, and mothering is emotionally the hardest thing I have done. 140.6 miles doesn't really seem like that big of a deal when you look at it with a bit of real life perspective.

I do know that it won't take me as long as it did to have my first child, and I'm pretty darn sure it won't hurt as bad. I also know that at the end, both of my beautiful children and my husband will be waiting to cross that finish line with me, because without them I'm pretty sure I would never have had the courage to begin.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Most of the time

A blog is a funny thing. More often than not it is a place I feel safe writing about my feelings, my thoughts, my real life, my embarrassing moments, my children, my workouts, and most everything else.

Most of the time.

Today I want to write about my crazy week of training. The miles and miles and hours and hours I spent honing my body and mind for one of the hardest physical tests I will ever put it through. (I say one, because I still believe that nothing will ever even come close to childbirth.) I want to tell you about the raccoon and the cow and the baby turtle. I want to tell you about last night's dream. I want to write about Ryan and Kel's latest project in the basement and Noah's intolerance of shoes that leaves his feet black as the driveway and our couch just a little bit less so.

But I won't because yesterday my Grandpa breathed his last breath and all of that other stuff just doesn't seem right to want to write about. I hesitate to put this into words because when I read about loss I never know what to say, and at the same time realize that sometimes no words are necessary.

So know that my Grandpa lived a long life. He was quiet, which was a necessity if you lived with my Grandma. He was stoic, as many men of his generation are. He was loving in his own way and time. He could make sweet potato biscuits with no recipe, and I will forever think of him whenever I see Freedent gum and Coca Cola. I will miss him.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Team Trimommy Shirts

Here is the final design!! A huge thanks to my amazing sister who created the design. Love you, Em!!

The shirt will be blue and is available in men's and women's cut. They will be about $20, but might be a bit less if the order is bigger than expected.

If you would like to be a part of Team Trimommy and be "with" me on race day (September 9...just in case you forgot!), please let me know what size shirt you would like by Monday, August 13. Those of you who have told me already, I've got you on my list! I will send out a Paypal request to those of you who are not local as soon as I know the final price of the shirts.

33 DAYS!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Burns and Boils

What is the saying about the U.S. Postal Service??

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
I'm thinking that I need a similar saying for my training lately. Let me give you a quick run down:

Last Saturday it rained for the first 4 hours of my 6 hour ride.

Then on Sunday it was gorgeous.

All of my rides during the week were on the trainer which gifted me with a lovely saddle sore.

Yesterday I rode 46 miles in incredible heat and humidity, although I didn't realize how hot it was until I got of the bike and tried, key word tried, to run. Um, yeah...that wasn't pretty. I ended up back home weighing 3 pounds less than when I started and got a little reprimand from my coach about staying on top of things, which, clearly, I needed. Good coach.

Today I rode 65 miles under threat of a severe thunderstorm that never came to fruition, super hot and super windy conditions (I pretended I was training for Kona) and miles of grooved pavement (seriously, it was so bumpy I started getting worried about my bike.) I also was wearing a super cute new cycling tank from Pearl Izumi (it has pockets!) and did not do a good job with the sunscreen. Oy.

Cute. Sort of. (Just a heads up to my parents that I did, in fact, apply sunscreen, just not very well.)

So what will my creed be?

"Neither heat nor rain nor burns nor boils will keep this trimommy from the dedicated completion of her scheduled training." 
I am ready for anything. Bring it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Team Trimommy

I am in the full on throes of training for Rev3 Cedar Point FULL!!! I am super excited with how my training (and racing) has been going. I feel like I am getting stronger and stronger with each and every minute I'm putting in.

I have also been hitting some first time highlights on my personal road to 140.6. This past weekend I had my longest ride to date coming in just shy of 97 miles. I'm looking forward to getting to that 3-digit mark in one day coming soon! Believe it or not, it really did feel great despite that the first 4 hours of it were in the rain. (After Quassy and Musselman, I  have to say I'm over the rain. I can do it, but I'm over it.) When I got home on Saturday, I was so covered in dirt and grit from the road I had to rinse off in the outside hose before I even came inside! Of course, the 97 miles was just on Saturday. I followed that up with 52 miles and an hour run on Sunday. Full training is NO JOKE!

I've also been reading lots of Rev3 CP race reports on the interwebs too. It really gets me excited to get out there and have my own day to write about!!

I also have a little plan up my sleeve that I think will be really fun. Many of you have expressed to me how much you wish you could come out to Cedar Point to cheer me on. While I would love it if anybody could make the trip, I realize that it is a long way for most of you and not something that I expect in any way. HOWEVER, I would love for all of you to be "with" me on race day.

SO, my sister, Emily, is helping me create a race day shirt for everyone! Here is a little sneak peek.

I'm still working out the details of cost and a lot of that depends on how many I end up ordering, but it looks like they will be somewhere between $16-21. They will be tech shirts, so hopefully it will be something you wear more than once! :) What I'm hoping is that if you would like to join me on race day, that you wear a Team Trimommy shirt and then take a picture and post it on my Facebook page or twitter or send it to me to post on my blog!

If you would like a Team Trimommy shirt, please let me know by sending me an email at, or leave a comment with how many and what size (there will be men and women's specific sizing) here or on Facebook. I am more than happy to ship out shirts if you are not local!

More than a t-shirt, though, it really does mean so much to me to have all of you guys (and you know who you are!!) being behind me and supporting me and cheering me on! It brings to mind that while the sport of triathlon is an individual sport, in so many ways I could not do it without my team! Thank you for being a part of my team!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Musselman Half-Iron Race Report

Two Sundays ago, I had the great pleasure of racing in my 3rd Musselman. This is a great hometown event in Geneva, NY, which is less than an hour from my house. It was my very first half-ironman tri, and I enjoy it every year I return. This year was particularly fun since Kel was racing as well and I had several athletes competing, many of them for their first half distance. Having just complete Syracuse 70.3 only three weeks earlier, I was interested to see how this race would go.

I love race mornings that start like this...

The morning started out with a looming threat of thunderstorms and an announcement that the swim would not be wetsuit legal. Since I was well aware that unless I pulled a 50 minute PR out of my hat there was no way I was in podium contention, I decided to wear my wetsuit since I was after a more modest PR.

Swim: 37:09 8/53 AG

Once we were in the water, I was actually quite glad I had my wetsuit on as many of the women around me were shivering. I opted to line up on the right, thinking that it looked like the shortest line to the buoy. The gun went off, and I was surprised to be out in front swimming in completely clean water, which was very weird. I'm a decent swimmer, but it is rare that I am leading a swim. After a while I realized all the fast swimmers lined up on the left because I saw them as they passed me...I guess I need to work on estimating distance a bit better! :) It still turned out to be a good choice for me, though, because the swim was super choppy and I was glad that I didn't have to contend with people as well as waves. Once we swam into the canal, I was really able to motor since it was calm. I felt good and think that the only reason I wasn't faster overall was because of the conditions.

Bike: 3:05:26 24/53 AG

Quick T1 and I was out on the bike. I felt strong from the beginning. Just like at Syracuse 70.3, I had some pretty specific HR goals and I feel like I did a great job hitting them. About 1.5 hours into the ride I noticed some really dark clouds ahead and then started seeing sky to ground lightning. About 5 minutes later the storm was literally on top of us. It was pouring and the lightning was so close I heard the thunder before I saw the flash. There were about 4 cracks of lightning right on top of us and I have to admit I was pretty freaked out. I passed a young girl and she asked me if we should stop. I decided the last thing we should do is stand in a big field during a lightning storm and told her to keep moving. The storm lasted about 30 minutes or so, and after that I still took all turns pretty conservatively. No more crashing for this girl!! I felt strong during the whole ride and this was a PR for this distance for me.

Run: 2:16:03 36/54 AG

I had one goal on this run and that was to push myself hard. My running has been pretty slow this year since I have been doing so much aerobic work in preparation for Rev3 Cedar Point Full, and I have been finding it difficult to find that next gear in races. Despite the relative slowness of the run, it was still about 4 minutes faster than Syracuse and I know I dug deep out there. It was also a relatively evenly paced run with the last 5 miles being some of my fastest! This was also the first time in a long time I have ran the whole run of a half by myself. I usually get a run buddy at some point, and on this day, it was just all up to me. Of course, that doesn't mean I wasn't having a great time encouraging those around me and thanking volunteers. For me, that goes without saying, because if it isn't fun, why am I doing it???

No idea what I am doing here, but it's funny!!

I totally picked this one because you can see my leg muscles...

6:02:27 23/54 AG

So all in all, my effort, while not quite good enough to get me under 6 (YET), were still good enough for  a PR of just over a minute! Last year I shaved off about a minute at this race, so maybe if I keep on racing that PR will keep getting lower!

It was a wonderful day for me as a coach as well. Here are some of the wonderful pictures of me with my athletes. What a day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Syracuse 70.3 Race Report

Get ready for a flurry of blog posts! Since racing Syracuse 70.3 on June 24, I have been on vacation for a week, raced another half-ironman, and performed in 3 concerts in addition to all of my usual craziness. I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted, but I guess when you are training for a full distance triathlon things like blogging are low on the totem pole.

Anywho, almost a month ago I raced Syracuse 70.3 It is my second time doing this race, although the first time the run course was much different (and much easier) than this year. One of the best things about this race is that I can sleep in my own bed and not even have to get up too early to get there in time, as transition is about 30 minutes from my house. It was also a lot of fun to know so many people on course. T2 had a great carb loading breakfast on Saturday which was a blast. It was so nice to just hang out with the team and there was a lot of laughing going on.

 I'm pretty sure this was almost a butt shot.

At least I had an excuse to stuff my face...

I went into this race with very specific pacing and HR goals and absolutely no time goals. I had decided to not even have the time showing on my watch, because I didn't even want it to be a part of my racing strategy.

Swim: 35:52, 9th AG

Honestly, I don't remember much about this swim (note to self: don't wait almost a month to write up a race report). Half-iron swims always seem longer than I expect them to be, and this was no different. I also very rarely have a grip on how well I am swimming. This was a good swim for me, but I'm pretty sure I was thinking it was slow during the race. Funny how that happens

Bike: 3:09:09, 17th AG

This bike course is no joke. There is a lot of climbing, some long and unrelenting hills and some short and painful ones. My goal was to keep my HR right around 160 for the entire ride.  I did pretty good. It's hard on such a variable course, but my average for the ride was 162, so I was pretty pleased with that. This was a PR for this particular course for me. The weather was absolutely perfect, the scenery was beautiful, and I just remember feeling so blessed to be able to be out there riding my bike.

Run: 2:20:02. 20th AG

This run course was SO HARD!! I had run the course a few times leading into the race and felt pretty good about it, but I was surprised by how mentally difficult a double out and back was. It was nice to see everyone on the course, but it was hard to know you were going to have to do it all again. Here is a look at the elevation profile.

It also really warmed up, the the heat was challenging as well. My goal was to keep my HR around 165ish for the whole run, and this was probably my most evenly paced half ever. My last mile was actually my fastest mile of the day. I felt very comfortable the whole way until the very end when my calf decided to cramp up a bit. Even so, I was excited about this run...until I saw the time! Then I had to give myself a talking to and remind myself that I nailed my goals. Yes, I am running slow, but I can run slow for a very long time and keep my splits super even, and that is what I'm shooting for in Cedar Point!!
This pic was taken from the head cam of a racer in front of me. 
I still can't believe he did that run with that thing on his head!!

So my overall time for the day was 6:10:30, not my best time for a half and not my worst. It was however, one of my most even races and I am very proud of it!!

A huge thanks to all my sponsors: Rev3Tri, Powerbar, Pearl Izumi, Normatec, TriSlide, Swiftwick, and Blue Seventy. (Just a note that I was bummed I couldn't wear my Rev3 kit because I was still in need of the right size shorts, but it was great to be able to wear my T2 kit since there were so many T2 athletes out on course.)

Musselman Half race report coming up tomorrow!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Deep vs. High

Dig deep.

Aim high.

The depths of despair.

The height of glory.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference between deep and high. As a triathlete, one of the reasons I train hard is that I want to be faster (duh.) Obviously, once you get beyond the "I just want to finish mentality" of completing your first sprint, olympic, half-ironman, full ironman triathlon, everyone just wants to get faster, and I am most certainly one of those people. For the past two years one of my goals has been to go under 6 hours in a half-ironman. I have been very close a few times, but still haven't been able to shave those few minutes off.

After Rev3 Quassy, though, I was feeling a little bit down about the direction my running has taken over the past year. Basically, I have slowed down. Granted a lot of the slowing down has been purposeful to work on my base aerobic level and really develop that system that is going to power me through 140.6 miles in September. However, it is always nice to see some results in terms of improved speed over the long haul. I had a long conversation with Sonja about this after Quassy and she said something that really resonated with me. She said, "You might not be getting faster, but your fitness is getting deeper." Meaning, even though I can't run at X pace, I can hold Y pace for a lot longer.

At first I protested..."well, that's great, but I want to be faster." Then I realized you have to dig deep before you shoot high. The taller the building is the deeper the foundation needs to be, and the foundation is there long before the top floor is complete. Once I wrapped my head around this, I was comforted to see that yes, my hard work is paying off. It may not be as tangible right this very minute as running fast would be, but the base is getting deeper with every slow mile I run.

I'm racing Syracuse 70.3 this weekend, and I'm hoping to see if I can build a few stories of my building on top of my deep foundation. I honestly have no idea how this will go. I have no time goals. I have some HR goals, and I have a plan, but mostly my goals are mental.

Dig deep.

Push hard.

Aim high.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

38? Impossible!

When I was nine years old my mom turned 30, and I vividly remember the surprise party we threw for her. Ever since then I have always thought of my mom as being 30 years old. What a shock for me when I turned 30! I mean, if my mom is 30, how in the world could I be 30?

Today, I turned 38, and I still feel the same way. Thirty-eight? Impossible! My mom is only 30!

She called me first thing this morning and said the same thing! It was fitting that my mommy was the first person to call me this morning as she was the first person to know me. Ever since I have become a mother, I always think about the fact that the day a first child is born is also the birth of a mother. I always make a point to wish a mother special wishes on the birthday of her child. Thanks, Mommy! I love you!

I had a wonderful day today - a bike ride, the last day of school, ice cream, So You Think You Can Dance, and all my boys - now that is a lot of #summergratitude! I've been toying with the idea all week long of doing a 38 things in my 38th year list, but, to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I can come up with 38 things today! I need to think about it more. So, maybe I will have a list, but maybe I will just live my 38th year as it comes...or maybe I will do both!

So on the longest day of the year, the day of my birth (coincidence? doubt it!), I celebrate a life lived and to be lived with love, excellence, gratitude, grace, sweat, maybe some tears and a whole lot of laughs.